The Fury Faithful
On any summer’s day, you can take a beautiful walk along Ottawa’s Rideau Canal and pass the historic Lansdowne Park as you enter the Glebe. At the southwest corner of the stadium’s stands, just meters from the corner flag, sits Section W (The Dub); and this is the home to the passionate and enthusiastic supporters, the Fury faithful.
There are two groups that occupy the standing only section inside the Dub; Stony Monday Riot and The Bytown Boys. Both groups are fueled by extremely passionate and organized members that provide the heartbeat to any Fury FC home match. Many of these fans have supported Fury FC since their PDL days, and have followed their club to New York for the 2015 NASL Championship Final. This Saturday the Fury faithful will get a chance to welcome the new look Fury FC squad at Lansdowne in Ottawa’s first home match of 2016.
A Fantastic Atmosphere
From the moment the Fury squad lines up for the anthems until well past the final whistle, the supporters create an atmosphere that players have credited with helping spur the team and providing them with the extra push needed to grind out wins. The use of original songs mixed with various musical instruments allows the fans to project their energy well beyond the stadium stands.
The Bytown Boys occupy the front of the Section W, where capo Anton directs the front of the crowd with songs and chants. Stony Monday Riot occupies the rear of the Dub, where a more spontaneous atmosphere has created some fantastic original songs, including my personal favourite “Always With You”. Together they provide a ninety minute wall of sound and passion that resonates throughout Lansdowne Park.
Beyond The Ninety
Between matches both supporters groups are very active; recording podcasts, organizing viewing parties, reporting on club news, participating in charity/community events and playing in a local footy sevens league. Members of both groups are also active Voyageurs, supporters of the Canadian Men’s and Women’s National teams, and travel to matches around the country as well as hosting viewing parties for Canadian matches.
Supporters have created fantastic displays for their club and continue to use countless hours of their personal time to help promote their supporters groups as well as soccer as a whole in the city. It’s their passion, energy and dedication that drives Fury on game days, but also continues to grow soccer in Ottawa on various levels.
Independence Is Important
Both supporters groups have formed good relationships with the club that includes the organization of traveling buses, TIFO displays and deals for members; however it is important to remember that both these groups run independently from the club and independently from each other. The supporters groups’ websites, merchandise and promotional material are all created by the fans for the fans on member’s personal time. It is this hard work and dedication that allows the supporters culture in Ottawa to grow organically, naturally and independently.
The independence of both groups from each other has at times caused issues, however over the past two years the supporters groups have worked together to create a fantastic atmosphere in the soccer community while still being able to do their own thing. Not every club has two strong, amazing supporters groups that can remain independent but also work together when needed, and Ottawa/Fury FC are certainly better off for it.
At The End Of The Day
The Fury supporters have developed a great reputation for being well rounded, community oriented people who are not afraid to let their passion and compassion known. Fans have created displays that support veterans and refugees, and made international news when they held up red, white and blue display cards to make a French flag in support of Paris at the 2015 NASL Championship Final.
The Fury faithful are the greatest of the great; helping their community, supporting each other and their club, and in general making Ottawa a better place and a soccer town. Whether you live in Ottawa or another city with a soccer team, ensure that you join your local supporters club and help grow the beautiful game in your own community.